The SnH2 and SnD2 molecules have been detected for the first time in the gas phase by laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) and emission spectroscopic techniques through the Ã1B1–X̃1A1 electronic transition. These reactive species were prepared in a pulsed electric discharge jet using (CH3)4Sn or SnH4/SnD4 precursors diluted in high pressure argon. Transitions to the electronic excited state of the jet-cooled molecules were probed with LIF, and the ground state energy levels were measured from single rovibronic level emission spectra. The LIF spectrum of SnD2 afforded sufficient rotational structure to determine the ground and excited state geometries: r0 = 1.768 Å, θ0 = 91.0°, r0 = 1.729 Å, θ0 = 122.9°. All of the observed LIF bands show evidence of a rotational-level-dependent predissociation process which rapidly decreases the fluorescence yield and lifetime with increasing rotational angular momentum in each excited vibronic level. This behavior is analogous to that observed in SiH2 and GeH2 and is suggested to lead to the formation of ground state tin atoms and hydrogen molecules.

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Published in The Journal of Chemical Physics, v. 148, issue 2, 024302, p. 1-8

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The following article appeared in The Journal of Chemical Physics, v. 148, issue 2, 024302, p. 1-8 and may be found at https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5011162.

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This research was funded by Ideal Vacuum Products.